Sunday, November 30, 2008


Welcome to Avec Gourmandise!

Name : Rung (a Thai name which means Rainbow) aka Camille

Work : Peoplesoft / Oracle consultant

Former hometown : Bangkok, Thailand

Current hometown : Lyon, France

Food advisor (a.k.a. the eater or the guinea pig) : Yannick

Avec Gourmandise : the belief that food (and other things in life), however humble, is meant to be pursued and shared with utmost pleasure. And that life is too short to skip desserts.

About Rung and food :
Rung grew up where the giving and sharing of food are an essential part of the culture. And where people are either eating, or thinking about what to eat next. Thai food was her first love (then music, and poetry, and boys, though not necessarily in that order). Her family nickname was 'Goong-Hang', which translated as 'dried shrimp', presumably because she was just skin and bones.

When she went to high school in Jakarta, she discovered that she also really enjoyed nasi goreng, Korean barbeque, and french fries. In her final high school year as an AFS exchange student in North Carolina, aside from learning that ketchup can fix anything, she developed the capacity to eat an enormous amount of chocolate chip cookies. She was no longer called 'Goong-Hang'.

Rung loves cooking and entertaining (and collecting and experimenting with recipes), and it gives her great pleasure to see people enjoy her food. As a young girl, one of the activities she always looked forward to was her father coming home early on Saturdays for lunch, and that she could prepare him a bowl of very spicy instant noodles. Of course with her secret ingredient!

Rung was a vegetarian for 17.5 years, but now she also eats fish. She is health-conscious, reads food labels, and is religious about counting her protein and fiber intake daily. She eats nuts for the bones, fish for the brain, fruits for the digestive systems, drinks wine for the heart, and believes that a little bit of chocolate is good for the soul.

Rung loves going to the finest restaurants as well as eating from street vendors when she's in Thailand. Since coming to Victoria, Rung has developed fondness for different ethnic foods (Indian, Japanese, Italian, etc.) and is grateful for the variety of products that can be obtained there. And though she likes to eat fresh and local as the next person, she's happy to have her mangos shipped from New Zealand in the middle of winter when the craving strikes.

She also loves certain smelly and truly weird things that she doesn't eat in polite company, and that she wouldn't dream of imposing on her most adventurous guests. Fermented shrimp paste sauce, preserved durian, fermented beans, anyone?

She is grateful that Yannick is a willing eater of her kitchen experiments, most of the time. She is happy to have him share her mealtime, eventhough they have quite different tastes in foods and mostly don't eat the same things.

During the 15 months she lived in France, Rung learned to appreciate many fine points of the French cuisine (and the patisserie!) But above all, she's come to really love and admire the French food culture, the art of the table, the art of living, the culture and the people itself.

She is happy that she can now share her pictures, thoughts and stories about foods, as well as recipes with interested friends and passing visitors through her food blog. And she would be happy to hear readers'comments and answer questions.

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